The corpus of Indian women’s literature has the power to define the borders of community, class, and gender. Challenging the existing patriarchal set-up, writers from all corners of the nation speak not only to subvert the patriarchy but also to claim their authority and bring subdued voices to the fore. In Volga’s gynocentric retellings of the ancient epic “Ramayana,” Volga’s The Liberation of Sita and Yashodhara deconstruct the traditional epic by recentering female characters that were marginalized in the original. The Liberation of Sita and Yashodhara tell the story of Buddha’s wife after his unexpected departure, and they exemplify an active remaking of the past, a revision, and a reinvention of tradition. Thus, the author creates a female collective by representing ancient tradition from alternative points of view and networking with women across ages and generations. This paper interprets the depiction of the female characters in the select texts not merely as exalted figures but as bold voices. The female characters of the epic are victims of patriarchy, yet they are not depicted as mere sufferers. The author has given them a strong voice and dignity, narrating words of wisdom which are the result of their experiences of struggle with pain. Hence, the study shows Volga’s evolved understanding of feminism as more than a simple conflict between men and women, but a larger issue that cannot simply be reduced to binaries.

Author Biography

Ruchi Kumari is a doctoral research fellow at the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee. She is currently working in the field of queer studies, specifically on the study of body and desire in queer sexualities in underprivileged India.Her paper, “On Lesbian Subjectivity and Same- Sex Marriage: An Interview with Ruth Vanita,” has been published in the Journal of Gender Studies. Email id: k_ruchi@hs.iitr.ac.in

Dr. Smita Jha is currently working as a Professor of English, at the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee. She has completed her Ph.D. & PGDTE (Post-Graduate Diploma in Teaching English) from CIEFL (Central Institute of English & Foreign Languages), Hyderabad. She has published more than 55 papers in refereed journals of literature published by Routledge, SAGE, and OUP. Email id: smitaiitr@gmail.com